What’s New in Ubuntu 17.04?

Dis­cover what’s new, im­proved, and re­moved in the lat­est re­lease

Maximum PC - - LINUX FOR BEGINNERS -

UBUNTU 17.04 was re­leased only a cou­ple of months ago, and con­tains sev­eral new fea­tures and be­neath-the­hood changes. The re­lease was over­shad­owed by the news that Canon­i­cal—Ubuntu’s de­vel­oper—has de­cided to re­tire its cur­rent desk­top, Unity. All devel­op­ment has been ceased, and while Unity 7 re­mains the de­fault for this re­lease, it will be re­placed by the GNOME desk­top in Ubuntu 17.10.

But what else is new in Ubuntu? One change—hid­den from view—is that Ubuntu has switched from stor­ing vir­tual mem­ory in a sep­a­rate, ded­i­cated par­ti­tion to us­ing a swap file in a sim­i­lar fash­ion to Win­dows. If you’re up­grad­ing to Ubuntu 17.04 from an ear­lier re­lease, the ex­ist­ing par­ti­tion struc­ture re­mains in place, but if you in­stall from scratch, it de­faults to a sin­gle par­ti­tion with swap file. If you don’t like this, you can man­u­ally con­fig­ure the swap par­ti­tion dur­ing setup by us­ing the “Some­thing else” op­tion. A word of ad­vice: If you’re con­fig­ur­ing a dual-boot sys­tem, don’t fol­low this step un­less you’re supremely con­fi­dent of what you’re do­ing. Driver­less Printing An in­creas­ing num­ber of print­ers work with­out the need for driv­ers—ba­si­cally, if you have a printer marked as IPP Ev­ery­where or Ap­ple AirPrint com­pat­i­ble, you no longer need to in­stall driv­ers to make it work in Ubuntu, a tricky process at the best of times. A hand­ful of PDF, PostScript, and PCL print­ers also work, and all you need to do is plug them in via USB or Eth­er­net, then go to “Set­tings > Print­ers,” where you should find they’re al­ready de­tected, and ready to use or con­fig­ure. Un­der the Hood Ubuntu 17.04 bases it­self on the Linux ker­nel 4.10, so you can run it on the lat­est In­tel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen sys­tems. It also in­cludes a big bump in the Mesa 3D graph­ics li­brary to ver­sion 17.0.2, while X.Org Server 1.19.2 is also in­cluded. Both have ben­e­fits for gam­ing.

The de­fault apps have also been up­dated—most no­tably Li­breOf­fice 5.3, which in­cludes the new rib­bon- based in­ter­face, and the Cal­en­dar, which now of­fers a weekly view. A full list of changes can be found at https:// wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZa­pus/Re­leaseNotes, where you will find such in­com­pre­hen­si­ble de­lights as dis­cov­er­ing Ubuntu 17.04 uses a new de­fault tool—“sys­tem­dre­solved,” as you asked—for re­solv­ing DNS ad­dresses. To­ward Ubuntu 17.10 If Ubuntu 17.04 is a rel­a­tively mi­nor up­date, there are larger rip­ples on the hori­zon. We’ve men­tioned how Ubuntu 17.10 will be the first ver­sion to sport the GNOME desk­top, which will be tweaked for Ubuntu users. Canon­i­cal is busy in­te­grat­ing the cur­rent Am­biance and Ra­di­ance themes to work with GNOME, for ex­am­ple. How­ever, cer­tain fea­tures ex­clu­sive to Unity won’t be forth­com­ing in this next re­lease—if you like the headsup dis­play or global menus, you’ll have to source al­ter­na­tives. Unity will re­main an op­tion if you up­grade from Ubuntu 17.04, or you’ll be able to in­stall it as an al­ter­na­tive desk­top on new Ubuntu 17.10 in­stalls.

Ubuntu 17.10 will ship with a new de­fault win­dow­ing sys­tem, re­plac­ing the X Win­dow Sys­tem (in the form of the X.Org Server) with a sim­pli­fied re­place­ment called Way­land, which comes with the prom­ise of per­for­mance im­prove­ments, par­tic­u­larly when ren­der­ing 3D. X.Org Server should re­main an op­tion for now at the lo­gin screen, for back­ward com­pat­i­bil­ity pur­poses.

Printer setup just got a lot eas­ier in Ubuntu 17.04 for IPP Ev­ery­where and Ap­ple AirPrint print­ers.

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